Officially leaving the project

Felipe Contreras felipe.contreras at
Wed Sep 3 07:05:01 EDT 2008


Many know this already, but I thought on making it clear: I've already
left the project.

I've been contributing to Pidgin since 2002, and I've silently left
the project a few times, due to "personal differences" with the core
development team.

This last time I tried to have a clean start, and while I had the
support of some developers, the truth is that my contributions where
taken conspicuously, as if everything that comes from me must have
something wrong. While I appreciate review, the truth of the matter is
that I'm the one who wrote the original MSN code (on top of chipx86's
redesign, who agreed that I'm the one who knows what's going on), my
patches got stopped because silly code-style issues (the code-style
was mine, inherited from chipx86, anyway), while some other
"developers" pushed changes that were plainly wrong and created
crashes. That's called double-standards.

The "new" code, msnp15, has some new features, but it has the same
deep problems as msnp9, even more. Of course, nobody sees this clearly
because nobody has the big picture. What is fundamentally wrong is
code that I did 4 years ago, I've improved my skills and now I see
many things that I did wrong.

As time went by it became obvious that trying to get changes into
Pidgin wasn't worth the trouble, but the straw that broke the camel's
back was the SCM discussion regarding Monotone. It became pretty
obvious that the core development team couldn't see things
objectively. Many saw criticism on Monotone as criticism on
themselves, discussing things with so unclear minds is impossible.

Now, don't take me wrong, by "core development team" I mean the team
in general. Of course there's people with clear minds, focused, and
polite. In a healthy community the virtues of the team members would
be exalted, and the vices discouraged, but not in Pidgin. In Pidgin
the leadership doesn't take a stance when there's a developer acting
wrong, bashing other people's work, or ideas, when double-standards
are applied, or personal agendas are pushed. The "good" ones keep
silent, while the "bad" ones keep shouting, and nobody intervene.

The more I've stayed in this project the more bitter I've become, and
I'm not the only one who sees problems with this close-minded
development team. I would gladly suggest ways to improve, if anyone is
interested, but that requires pointing fingers and I won't do that

At the same time I would like to share my vision of what "Pidgin" should become.

Pidgin should be a completely separate project of libpurple, libpurple
in turn should be split into smaller pieces; configuration, storage,
utilities, connexion. I bet many projects are already overriding
libpurple's configuration stuff because it really should not belong in
an IM library, that's for the UI to handle.

I have thoughts on how to achieve this, and none of them include the
core development team. They are happy with how things are, and any
meaningful change would take several years, and blood. It seems as if
everyone is surrounding themselves with people that give them pats in
the back, and anyone that gives criticism is either wrong, insane, or
temporarily confused. A hate target.

I'm done with this vortex of inspiration-suckage. My plan is to make
msn-pecan standalone, so Empathy will be able to use it. The functions
that libpurple is doing for msn-pecan would be rewritten in a new
libim-util that could be used for renegade libpurple plugins,
Telepathy CMs, and independent libraries. If anyone is interested in
this future vision please send me a private email.

So long.

Felipe Contreras

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